Five-Thousand-Year-Old Baby Bottles Reveal Old Parenting Decisions

Oct 13, 2019

Credit KATHARINA REBAY-SALISBURY

There are few parenting decisions that evoke more controversy - and even vitriol - than whether and how long to breastfeed.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than eighty percent of American babies start out breastfed. But one in six breastfed babies gets some formula supplementation in the first days of life. By six months of age, only a quarter of babies are exclusively breastfed. Three quarters are getting their nutrition from some combination of breastmilk, formula or other milk, and foods.

Our next guest says that kind of all of the above approach to feeding babies is nothing new. In fact, it could date back five-thousand years – to early agricultural communities in Europe.

Julie Dunne a Postdoctoral Researcher in Archaeology at the University of Bristol, recently published evidence of clay baby bottles from archaeological sites in Germany.